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Saga - PT Blumfruit and Queen’s Heart (Zeb/OC; pre-Siege of Lasan; ad-hoc OTP Challenge #15)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Findswoman , May 23, 2020.

  1. Findswoman

    Findswoman Fanfic and Pancakes and Waffles Mod (in Pink) star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Feb 27, 2014
    Author: Findswoman
    Title: Blumfruit and Queen’s Heart (working title)
    Era: Saga—PT, just before the Siege of Lasan (around 10 BBY in my fanon)
    Characters: Garazeb “Zeb” Orrelios, Shulma Trilasha Orrelios (OC)
    Genre: Dialogue-only minific, romance, mush
    Summary: What they said to each other that very last morning before the Siege of Lasan.
    Notes: Written for the OTP Challenge #15: Things You Said (out of competition). It’s based on prompt 31 from the challenge list: “things you said right before goodbye.”
    Oh, and yes, it's part of the Lasan Series, too. :D
    Many thanks, as always, to @Raissa Baiard for beta reading, good advice, and invaluable help getting unstuck! @};-

    “’Mornin’ there, Shulma darlin’... look, I made ya your favorite blumfruit and queen’s heart tea... er... darlin’?... What’s wrong?... Aw karabast, say somethin’, darlin’! Say somethin’!”

    Oh! Zeblove! Sorry, dearest... good morning...”

    ’Mornin’! Now what’s wrong?!”

    “Oh, nothing...”

    “It’s not nothin’! You’re clutchin’ your head and, er, squinchin’ your eyes!”

    “It’s just—my head—”

    “Aw karabast, not one o’ those storm-vision-current-headache things again…!”

    “Well, yes…”

    “Here, have your tea… there ya go, drink up… what’d you see this time?”

    “Zeb, please, it was an idle storm-vision—”

    “C’mon, please?”

    “A mountain that was... black and burnt, with its top charred off.”


    “You asked… but please don’t worry, dearest. It’ll pass. I’ll just bring my pastilles with me to the academy, and everything will be fine.”

    “Waiwaiwait, you’re goin’ into the academy?!”

    “Well, yes, of course! I have to finish transcribing Osthi’s third school journal, and then the initiates’ chant class—”

    “No, no, NO! You’re not goin’ anywhere today! You just stay right there in bed and drink all your tea, you got that?!”

    “But Zeblove, it’s not really so bad—”

    “No excuses! You need to stay here and rest. And finish. That. Tea, hear?”


    “I don’t want my poor mountain flower gettin’ vision shock again!”

    “Ai sweet Garazeb, do you really think my currents are going to be unduly affected by transcribing ancient manuscripts and teaching kits chant?”

    “Well, er, no, but—”

    “Then please don’t worry about me. Ashla knows you have more serious things on your mind!”

    “But we can’t take any risks! What if you’re—”

    “Shh, love! It’s too early to know!”

    “Sorry, darlin’... just… y’can’t blame me for worryin’ about ya with everything goin’ on…”

    “Oh, I know, Zeblove… I can only imagine.”

    “I’ve got the Guard on high alert already, but what if it’s not enough? The Empire isn’t known for playin’ fair… an’ if things got bad, an’ somethin’ happened to you—aw karabast, I can’t even—”

    “Zeblove! You know I’d be devastated if anything happened to you, too! Every day I pray that the Ashla’s protecting cloaks might shield you from danger.”

    “Aw darlin’, I’ll do my best… guess all we can do is carry on, but still…”

    “Here, love, sit with me a bit and have a sip of tea… there.”

    “Thanks, darlin’... Mmm, that’s good stuff.”

    “Isn’t it? Sweet yet strong, just like you. That’s why it’s my favorite.”

    “Aw, heh heh… an’ like my darlin’, who’s got a real queen’s heart… …Well, guess I should get goin’. Y’still gonna go, too?

    “I think so.”


    “Yes. As you said, we just have to carry on.”

    “Aw, fine, all right. But you take care and be careful now, y’hear?”

    “I shall, love, and you too. May the Ashla protect you and your comrades. Come home safe.”

    “I’ll try. You do the same. Hey… whaddaya say to the Flying Boar Grill tonight?”

    “I say that is an excellent idea.”

    “Right, then. Love ya, darlin’.”

    “Love you, too.”

    This story is an expansion on the scene Shulma describes in chapter 1 of Shaman, Traveler, Oracle. In chapter 11 she recalls Zeb saying “You’re not goin’ anywhere today! You just stay right there in bed and drink all your tea, you got that?!”

    Flying Boar Grill: Named after the Flying Hound Alehouse in Fitchburg, Wisconsin, USA, a Findsfamily favorite.

    Blumfruit:, though also by way of a dumb pun on my part, as Steve Blum was Zeb’s voice actor.

    Queen’s heart:'s_Heart
    Last edited: May 24, 2020
  2. Kahara

    Kahara Chosen One star 4

    Mar 3, 2001
    Shulma and Zeb are so wonderful here; this is them at their best in a very everyday, routine sort of way. @};- Really adoring the detail of Zeb making her favorite tea for her before leaving. :zeb: What a sweetie! There are little signs of something bad on the horizon, with Shulma's grim vision and Zeb's concerns about the Empire. It's heartrending to know that these two will be apart so much longer than expected.

    [face_love] This was my favorite part! In spite of the tensions and worries and their attendant headaches, Zeb and Shulma are so caring with each other and it's just so perfectly them.
  3. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Their personalities came through in this tender, loving conversation. You can tell this is a wonderful every day kind of thing they do first thing in the morning, but the day is anything but. Echo Kahara :( ... they will be apart longer than they realize, but the reunion is SWEET for all that. [face_love]
    Kahara and Findswoman like this.
  4. Mira Grau

    Mira Grau Force Ghost star 5

    May 11, 2016
    Nice moment, reminds me of a book I'm currently reading on the Spanish civil war, its the same atmosphere of normal civilian life, but the threat is already there, already present, especially to the reader who knows what is about to happen.
    Great Job! :)
  5. mavjade

    mavjade Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 10, 2005
    This is so beautiful! You can really feel the love between them, and I particularly love how Zeb is trying to take care Shulma. And her vision sounded really scary, I'm going to guess they don't make it to the Flying Boar Grill. :( (But the placed it's based on sounds amazing!!)
  6. Sith-I-5

    Sith-I-5 Force Ghost star 6

    Aug 14, 2002
    Nice to see the concern of Zeblove's partner, and the storm vision being an actual vision of a potential future, was interesting.

    Reminded me of Cordelia's mind-splitting visions from The Powers That Be, in Angel.

    Also, that seems a creatively thought up infusion.
    Last edited: May 25, 2020
    Kahara and Findswoman like this.
  7. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The (FavoriteTM) Fanfic Mod With the Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Jun 29, 2004
    Okay. I am going to try and leave a real, constructive reply and not just a mess of blathering emotions and capslock and superfluous punctuation and emojis, because you have to know that's really how I felt by the end of this. :p


    Oh! THERE'S SO MUCH TO LOVE ABOUT THIS, WHERE DO I EVEN BEGIN?? First of all, I love that Zeb makes her tea. And what a beautiful sounding tea it is, at that! There's just so much tenderness and love between them, as is always shown in your work, and their bond shines through even on what they think is just another ordinary day, little knowing that it's the end of their world as they currently know it. Of course we know why Shulma's currents are screaming at her, and know how portentous her visions truly are, even if she thinks they are just part and parcel of her gifts. That omniscient knowledge really makes this vignette hit, and hit hard.

    Oh oh oh, but that hurt. =((

    These words just mean all the more so here, knowing what's to come!

    And that's exactly what Zeb will do. =((

    Aw!!! Just too sweet and lovely for words. These two. [face_love] [face_love] [face_love]

    I appreciate that their last words to each other - for now - is that they love each other. It's something small for them to hold onto through the long years to come!

    This was a beautiful piece, and a lovely addition to the challenge! Thank you so much for sharing this with us, and for hosting the challenge in the first place. [face_love]

    =D= =D=
    Last edited: May 25, 2020
  8. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Nov 22, 1999
    Oh, this is so poignant as "things you said before good-bye", because we readers know that it isn't just "good-bye until tonight" but good-bye for a very long time--and a time during which both of them believed it was the last goodbye :( As always, you have Zeb's voice perfectly in character,and you perfectly balance his gruff Honor Guard side with his tender heart especially where Shulma is concerned.. It's so Zeb to tell Shulma What's Best--Finish. Your.Tea--in the best, most loving but still totally Honor Guard Captain way. (he sounds a lot like my father in ex-Marine mode :p)
    It's bittersweet to see them here at the kitchen table, with the cozy domesticity of drinking tea is offset not just by Shulma's headache, but by the clear and present danger presented by the Empire. Even in these fraught times, though, their love is evident in how they look after one another--which brings us back to the tea
    Love how you tie both of them to the titular blumfruit and queen's heart tea.
    And how poignant to read their ordinary discussion about going out to dinner after work and their last words to each other--I'll echo @Mira_Jade that it's lovely and so appropriate for them that their last words to each other are "I love you".

    Thanks for this lovely addition to the challenge; I always enjoy seeing your purple prose and the continuing saga of Zeb and Shulma [face_love]
  9. Findswoman

    Findswoman Fanfic and Pancakes and Waffles Mod (in Pink) star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Feb 27, 2014
    As always, thank you all for reading and commenting and giving this little piece a chance! :) I hope I've got all the comments quoted here; if I have left anyone out, please feel free to let me know.

    Thanks so much! Yes, this is very likely something they do with some regularity in the mornings, and they of course think this morning will be more or less like most others... though of course it will not be, and there are even hints to that effect. :_|

    Aw, thanks! I enjoyed bringing the attributes of the tea to them, as well, making that blend emblematic of them and their love no matter what may come. Thanks so much as always for being here to read and comment! :)

    Thank you so much! Glad you enjoyed this little glimpse of their everyday—an everyday that, alas, will turn out not to be so everyday after all. But you're right, that will definitely make their reunion all the sweeter!

    Thank you so much, Anedon, great to see you here! Yes, that is pretty much exactly the atmosphere I was going for—the balance could tip at any moment, and yet they're doing their best to maintain as much normalcy as they can—and it's their love for each other that leads them to do that. So glad you enjoyed! :)

    Thanks so much, Mav, and it's great to see you here, too! Oh yes, I've always known Zeb as someone who will be there for those dear to him at all costs, going the extra mile if necessary—it's something that's always drawn me to him as a character. You're, unfortunately, they don't make it to the Flying Boar Grill, because the next thing that happens is the Siege of Lasan and the events of my Shulma diary from 2018. (But you're right—the place the Flying Boar is based on is really super good and one of my family's favorite special occasion places! And I think they just reopened for dine-in, too...) Thanks again; I really appreciate your coming by to read. :)

    Thanks so much, I-5, great to see you here, and glad you enjoyed! I'm not familiar with Angel, but yes, it sounds like it's basically the same sort of thing as I was going for here, this time from the Force (or, as Shulma knows it, the Ashla).

    Glad you liked the herbal infusion, too—blumfruit and queen's heart are two established GFFA plants that seemed to me not only like they would go together well in an herbal tea but also seemed to represent these characters somehow. I kind of envision it tasting similar to hibiscus-rosehip tea, which is one I like a lot.

    Thanks so much again for coming by to read! :)

    Wow, gee, well, thank you so much! I'm glad this short little piece was able to elicit those kind of feelings—all in a good way, I hope! ;)

    Oh, thank you, I'm so glad you enjoyed all these things! Yep, again, we readers definitely know something these two don't—namely, that disaster is going to strike and change Zeb and Shulma's worlds forever. But at least they will go into that disaster with their love for each other as the most recent thing on their minds; I wouldn't have that part of it any other way. <3

    Ah ha, good eye there for picking up on this bit! ;)
    There was a reference to this in ShTO chapter 5, too, when Shulma goes through her belongings in her satchel. And it of course factors into making Zeb's concern for her at this moment all the more so!

    Yep, that is the idea—she's been sensing for a while that disaster might be near, though she doesn't yet know when it will all come to a head, and that will make it hit all the harder.

    He will, and he will do an AMAZING job of it, too. Above and beyond is the Zeb way, always! :zeb:

    Aw, thanks, glad you enjoyed this little bit! Again, I really wanted to relate the ingredients in Shulma's favorite tea back to the two of them, in some way. <3

    Yes! This was exactly my thinking, too. There was nothing else I would rather put in their mouths in that moment than that simple, sincere declaration. <3

    You are so very welcome, and it was my immense pleasure both to write this and to set up this challenge! As always, thank you so much for your readership and support! :)

    Thank you so much! I waffled for a bit about which of the prompts I would use for a scene like this (and yes, it was a situation where I had the scenario in mind before choosing the prompt, because I'd been curious to write a scene like this in some form), but ultimately there just wasn't anything that fit better than "before goodbye," especially given the disaster we know strikes Lasan and both of these Lasat. And yes, that is EXACTLY how I see Zeb and the way he cares for those close to him! :D One of the things that makes him so charming, really—there's a very caring heart under that gruff exterior, and the gruff exterior makes the caring even more so. [face_love]

    Yes, exactly, and again my thinking was that they would do all they could to keep things as normal as possible for each other, out of love for each other—including little gestures like morning tea. Doesn't mean they don't acknowledge the clear and present danger, of course, but they don't let it stop their love from coming first.

    Thanks so much, I'm glad you enjoyed this! As you know, I waffled a bit about this part at the beta stage; I didn't want it to seem too corny or kitschy or just plain silly, but still wanted to draw the parallel. So I'm glad it worked! @};-

    Thanks so much! Again, maybe it's just my mushy, romantic side, but I wouldn't have those last words be anything else. <3

    You're very welcome! I've been really thrilled with how successful this challenge has turned out to be, so I'm so glad I too was able to contribute to it in some small way. And thanks as always for your enthusiasm and longstanding support of the Purple Prose—none of which would be here without you! @};-
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2020